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From their websites:

The Yocto Project is an open source collaboration project that provides templates, tools and methods to help you create custom Linux-based systems for embedded products regardless of the hardware architecture. It was founded in 2010 as a collaboration among many hardware manufacturers, open-source operating systems vendors, and electronics companies to bring some order to the chaos of embedded Linux development.

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    I use this daily. If you need a custom firmware image, Yocto is great and I havn’t really come across a good alternative. From a developer perspective though, I would rather have something less Linux specific, less Python and less bloated. I’ve had to increase the number of inotify watchers system wide multiple times (it’s now in the higher five figures). I’ve had to wait tens of seconds for commands that should complete in milliseconds (devtool build). I’ve had problems with packages not ending up in the final image even though they’re included in the dependency graph, or old artifacts of rebuilt packages ending up in the final image, and other silent failures which were really hard to track down due to the complexity of the tooling. I’ve had problems where bitbake tries to download internal packages from an external repo and otherwise leaking information.

    This leads to a lack of trust in the tooling and a lot of developers hacking away at the build system to create their own tooling because the standard tooling is perceived as flawed, even if it works great 95% of the time.